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Luc. I humbly thank him, and I thank you all. But who comes here led by a lufty Goth. Enter a Goth leading Aaron, with his child in his arms,
Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troops I stray'd To gaze upon a ruinous monastery; And as I earneftly did fix mine eye Upon the wasted building, suddenly 1 heard a child cry underneath a wall; I made unto the noise, when foon I heard The crying babe contrould with this discourse ; “ Peace, tawny slave, half me and half thy dam, “ Did not thy hue bewray whose brat thou art, “ Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look, " Villain, thou might'st have been an Emperor: “ But where the bull and cow are both milk-white, “ They never do beget a cole-black calf; “ Peace, villain, peace! (even thus he rates the babe) 6. For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth; " Who, when he knows thou art the Empress' babe, “ Will hold thee dearly for thy mother's fake.” With this, my weapon drawn, I ruth'd upon him, Surpriz'd him suddenly, and brought him hither, To use as you think needful of the man.
Luc. O worthy Goth, this is th' incarnate devil,
That robb’d Andronicus of his good hand;
This is the pearl that pleas'd your Empreis' eye,
And here's the base fruit of his burning luft.
Say, wall-ey'd flave, whither would'ít thou convey
This growing image of thy fiend-like face?
Why doft not speak? what! deaf? no! not a word?
A halter, foldiers; hang him on this tree,
And by his fide his fruit of bastardy:
Aar. Touch not the boy, he is of royal blood.
Luc. Too like the fire for ever being good.
First, hang the child that he may see it sprawl,
A sight to vex the father's foul withal.
Get me a ladder. (25)
Aar. (25) Aar. Get me a ladder, Lucius, save the child.] All the printed editions have given this whule verse to Aaron, But why should the
dar. Lucius, save the child,
And bear it from me to the Emperess;
If thou do this, I'll thew thee wondrous things,
That highly may advantage thee to hear ;
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
I'll speak no more ; but vengeance rot you all!
Luc. Say on, and if it please me which thou speak'st, Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd.
Aar. And if it please thee? why, assure thee, Lucius,
'Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak:
For I must talk of murders, rapes and massacres,
Aets of black night, abominable deeds,
Complots of mischief, treason, villanies,
Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform'd :
And this shall all be buried by my death,
Unless thou swear to me my child shall live.
Luc. Tell on thy mind; I say, thy child fall live.
Aar. Swear, that he shall; and then I will begin.
Lac. Who Thould I swear by? thou believ'st no god; That grantėd, how can'lt thou believe an oath ?
Aar. What if I do not ! as, indeed, I do not; Yet, for I know thou art religious, And hast a thing within thee called conscience, With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies Which I have seen thee careful to observe : Therefore I urge thy nath; (for that, I know, An idiot holds his bauble for a god, And keeps the oath, which by that god he swears, To that I'll urge him ;)--herefore thou shalt vow By that same god, what god foe'er it be, That thou ador’st and halt in reverence, To save my boy, nourish and bring him up; Moor here ask for a ladder, who earnestly wanted to have his child sav’d? Unless the poet is suppos’d to mean for Aaron, that, if they would get him a ladder, he would resolutely hang himself out of the way, so they would spare the child. But I much rather fuspect, there is an old error in prefixing the names of the persons; and that Lucius ought to call for the ladder, and then Aaron very properly entreats of Lucius to save the child. I ventur'd to make this regulation in my SHAKESPEARE restored, and Mr. Pope has embrac'd it in his last edition,
Or else I will discover nought to thee.
Luc. Even by my god I swear to thee, I will.
Aar. First, know thou, I begot him on the Empress.
Luc. O most insatiate, luxurious, woman!
Aar. Tut, Lucius, this was but a deed of charity,
To that which thou shalt hear of me anon.
'Twas her two sons, that murder'd Basianus;
They cut thy fifter's tongue, aná ravish'd her,
And cut her hands, and trimm'd her as thou saw't.
Luc. Oh, detestable villain ! call'ft thou that trimming?
Aar. Why, she was washed, and cut, and trimm's; And 'twas trim sport for them that had the doing of't.
Luc. Oh, barb'rous beaftly villains like thyfeif!
Aar. Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct them :
That codding fpirit had they from their mother,
As sure a card as ever won the set ;
That bloody mind, I think, they learn’d of me,
As true a dog as ever fought at head;
Well; let my deeds be witness of my worth,
I train'd thy brethren to that guileful hole,
Where the dead corps of Basianus lay:
I wrote the letter that thy father found,
And hid the gold within the letter mention di;
Confed’rate with the Queen, and her two sons.
And what not done, that thou hast cause to rue,
Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in't?
I play'd the cheater for thy father's hand,
And when I had it, drew myself apart,
And almost broke my heart with extream laughter.
I pry'd me through the crevice of a wall,
When for his hand he had his two sons heads;
Beheld his tears, and laugh'd so heartily,
That both mine eyes were rainy like to his :
And when I told the Empress of this sport,
She swooned almost at my pleasing tale,
And for my tidings gave me twenty kifles.
Goth. What! can't thou say all this, and never blush!
Aar. Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is.
Luc. Art thou not forry for these heinous deeds?
Aar. Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
Ev'n now I curse the day (and yet I think,
Few come within the compass of my curse)
Wherein I did not some notorious ill,
As kill a man, or else devise his death ;
Ravish à maid, or plot the way to do it;
Accuse fome innocent, and forswear myself ;
Set deadly enmity between two friends;
Make poor mens çattle break their necks;
Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
And bid the owners quench them with their tears :
Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their graves,
And set them upright at their dear friends doors,
Ev’n when their sorrow almost was forgot ;
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
" Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.”
'Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things,
As willingly as one would kill
fly : And nothing grievęs me heartily indeed, But that I cannot do ten thousand more.
Luc. Bring down the devil, for he must not die So sweet a death, as hanging presently,
Aar. If there be devils, would I were a devil,
To live and burn in everlasting fire,
So I might have your company in hell,
But to torment you with my bitter tongue!
Luc Sirs, stop his mouth, and let him speak no more.
Goth. My Lord, there is a messenger from Rome
Desires to be admitted to your presence.
Luc. Let him come near.-
Welcome, Æmilius, what's the news from Rome?
Æmil. Lord. Lucius, and you Princes of the Gothsg.
The Roman Emperor greets you all by me;
And, for he understands you are in arms,
He craves a parley at your father's house,
Willing you to demand your hostages,
And they shall be immediately deliver'd.
Goth. What says our General ?
Luc. Æmilius, let the Emperor give his pledges
father and my uncle Marcus, And we will come: march away.
(Exeunt. SCENE changes to Titus's Palace in Rome.
Enter Tamora, Chiron and Demetrius, disguis'd. Tam. Hus, in these strange and fad habiliments,
I will encounter with Andronicus :
And say, I am Revenge sent from below,
To join with him, and right his heinous wrongs :
Knock at the study, where, they say, he keeps,
To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge ;
Tell him, Revenge is come to join with him,
And work confusion on his enemies.
[They knock, and Titus appears aboven
Tit. Who doth moleft my contemplation
Is it your trick to make me ope the door,
That so my sad decrees may fly away,
And all my study be to no effect ?
You are deceiv'd; for what I mean to do,
See, here in bloody lines I have set down;
And what is written shall be executed.
Tam. Titus, I am come to talk with thee.
Tit. No, not a word : how can I grace my talk,
Wanting a hand to give it that accord?
Thou hast the odds of me, therefore no more.
Tam. If thou did'ft know me, thou wouldt talk with me
Tit. I am not mad; I know thee well enough ;
Witness this wretched ftump, these crimson lines,
Witness these trenches, made by grief and care,
Witness the tiring day and heavy night,
Witness all sorrow, that I know thee well
For our proud Empress, mighty Tamora :
Is not thy coming for my other hand ?
Tam. Know thou, sad man, I am not Tamora :
She is thy enemy, and I thy friend;
I am Revenge, fent from th' infernal kingdom,
To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind,
By working wreakful vengeance on thy.foes.